On Monday, USDA announced terms for export of beef directly to China, an arrangement hotly awaited since the initial agreement was struck in mid-May.
The specified requirements for exports to China include these five basic tenants:
- Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle that were born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S., cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico and subsequently raised and slaughtered in the U.S., or cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico for direct slaughter.
- Cattle must be traceable to the U.S. birth farm using a unique identifier, or if imported to the first place of residence or port of entry.
- Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age.
- Chilled or frozen bone-in and deboned beef products are eligible for shipment. For a complete listing, refer to the FSIS Export Library.
- Carcasses, beef and beef products must be uniquely identified and controlled up until the time of shipment.
USDA also said only eligible products may be issued an FSIS Export Certificate. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) verifies that cattle meet the specified product requirements, as outlined in QAD 1030AA Procedure, through an approved USDA Quality System Assessment (QSA) or USDA Process Verified Program (PVP).
USDA says these programs ensure that a company’s requirements are supported by a documented quality management system and are verified through audits conducted by AMS.
To learn how to apply, go to this USDA-AMS webpage.